PHASE 1: Social Distinction
Social restoration begins when followers of Jesus embrace there are no social distinctions.
PHASE 2: Social Action
Social restoration demands that followers of Jesus put their FAITH into social ACTION.
PHASE 3: Social Language
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. (James 3:1-2)
Command: Watch your WORDS
Words – “a communication where by the mind finds expression.”
How do we watch our words?
Before you SPEAK, stop and THINK:
- Is it TRUE?
- Is it HELPFUL?
- Is it KIND?
- Have I truly LISTENED?
Why are we to be so careful with what we say?
- Our words have DIRECTIONAL force. [James 3:3-4]
- Our words have DESTRUCTIVE power. [James 3:5-7]
- Our words are very DIFFICULT to control. [James 3:7-8]
What do we do?
- Repent for the INCONGRUITY of your words. [James 3:9-10]
- Go to the ROOT to address the FRUIT. [James 3:11-12]
For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, [z]on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (Luke 6:43-46)
Social restoration requires followers of Jesus to do the heart work to bring about redemptive social language.